Mad River Expedition 176 Review

July 24, 2012
Mad River Expedition 176
2Mad-River-Expedition-176-1
Mad River Expedition 176 2Mad-River-Expedition-176-1
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
91
Tracking/Ferrying
9
Hull speed
9
Maneuverability
7
Initial and secondary stability
8
Overall comfort
8

The Good

  • This baby is built for speed.
  • Minimal rocker and asymmetrical hull blend cruising power with cargo space.
  • Top scores for tracking.
  • And hull speed.
  • One tester said, "Queen of the Fleet."

The Bad

  • Delicate looks created a phobia of all things igneous.
  • Black gunwales burned one tester’s thighs.
  • White interior meant muddy bathtub ring every night.
THE VERDICT

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better expedition canoe than the Mad River Expedition 176, both in aesthetics and performance. It turns when you need it and hauls on the flats.

ITEM DESCRIPTION

The Mad River Expedition 176 is an expedition canoe built with an equal emphasis on details and performance.

FULL REVIEW

Perhaps the best attribute of the Mad River Expedition 176 is its lightweight construction, which makes you feel guilty about packing that extra Fosters oilcan. Its Kevlar base gives it a tensile strength five times stronger than steel, while a fiberglass/graphite weave, capped with a gel coat, makes it one of the most durable canoes per pound in the business. Combined with its sleek design, this made it the first canoe “dibbed” each morning.

Details
Smaller details are also spot-on, including a sliding, contoured cane bow seat, contoured portage yoke, tripping thwart, adjustable stern ash footbrace, and shaped ash carry handles. “The Bentley of our trip – a floating work of art,” said one tester. “My wife said paddling it made me look 10 years younger,” said another. “It’s very sexy.”

Performance
Add in the ability of this canoe to track, and flat out haul when you want to, and you’ve got an all-around performer. It effortlessly stayed out front of the group when scrambling for a late campsite before the kids melted down, and its comfort combined with its cruisiness, “Reminds me of my Lay-Z Boy back home,” according to one tester. But here’s its true street cred: At the take-out, it was the first canoe purchased by one of our testers.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$2,599.00
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